Fagor Professional, a Spanish manufacturer of hydrocarbon-based commercial refrigeration equipment, says it has sold more than 500,000 of its propane (R290) and isobutane (R600a) refrigeration units in Europe since introducing them to the market in 2019.

As of 2020, Fagor had transitioned its entire commercial refrigeration range – which includes countertop units, upright cabinets, blast chillers, ice makers, merchandisers and bottle coolers – to hydrocarbons.

Speaking to Hydrocarbons21.com at the HOTERES tradeshow in Tokyo, Fagor’s Diego Micol, Export Manager, and Denis Llodio, Africa and Asia Pacific Director, said the manufacturer had sold at least 200,000 units per year in Europe since 2020.

With 60 years’ manufacturing experience, Fagor has become one of Europe’s leading producers of refrigeration equipment for hotels, restaurants, catering companies, stores and drinks suppliers, explained Llodio.

The company has eight production facilities across Spain, Poland and France, as well as one in Mexico.

In addition to Europe, where around half of the company’s sales is based, Fagor is active in the North American, the Middle Eastern and the Asia Pacific (APAC) markets.

Entering the Japanese market

With an interest in growing its presence in Japan, Fagor established a based in the country in 2020.

The company is predominantly focusing on its R290-based blast chiller for the Japanese market due to the country’s cuisine, explained Llodio and Micol.

Fagor’s R290 Advance blast chiller contains a hermetically sealed compressor with ventilated condenser and can provide up to 565W (0.2TR) in cooling capacity.

For refrigeration, the product can reduce the temperature of cooked food from 90°C (194°F) to 3°C (37.4°F) in less than 90 minutes. For freezing, food can reach -18°C (-0.4°F) is just four hours, according to the manufacturer.

While the Fagor brand is relatively new in Japan, Llodio and Micol said that the company’s strength will be its products.

“We are coming with big faith in the market, and we believe that together, Japan and Fagor can deliver a high-end solution,” said Micol. The company’s focus will be on promoting safety and offering economic value compared to its competitors, he added.

Global shift from HFCs

As a European manufacturer, Fagor has had to adapt its business in line with EU rules, like its F-gas Regulation, and as such is investing in sustainability.

“There’s no way back [to HFCs],” said Llodio. “The trends will be going with either hydrocarbons or other new technologies. But for sure, we cannot take a step back; we have to move forward.”

“There’s no way back [to HFCs]. The trends will be going with either hydrocarbons or other new technologies. But for sure, we cannot take a step back; we have to move forward.”

Denis Llodio, Fago Professional

“All over the world, we need to establish the same law for refrigeration [so] we compete with the same rules,” said Micol, adding this was necessary to ensuring the whole market shifted to sustainable alternatives and to eliminating unfair competition.

“Those developing faster will have an advantage in the future,” added Llodio. “We are moving [in] the right direction.”